Coach Speak: Baylor coach Art Briles has done his best to downplay the game this weekend by saying that he doesn't think there is a rivalry and that this is just another game on the schedule. Apparently his players have bought into this line of thinking as well. Baylor QB and anointed savior Robert Griffin III has been quoted as saying that he thinks TCU is just a step above Buffalo. BUFFALO!?!?!!? Are you SERIOUS?!? You CAN'T be serious?! Actually on second thought this is probably a good thing... so, you're right RG3, we are just a step above Buffalo and you should prepare as such. Briles has also taken to discussing TCU coach Patterson without actually mentioning him by name, and don't think he hasn't noticed.
Coach Patterson on the other hand has been complaining about his teams performance in practice this week, comparing it to 2005 when we beat OU and then lost to SMU. Hopefully this is just a motivational ploy by Patterson because if this team can't get "up" for this weeks game against Baylor then we might have a serious problem on our hands.
Special Guests: Among the sold out crowd on Saturday will be many TCU recruits. Most notably 2011 4-star athlete LaDarius Brown of Waxahachie and 2012 running back phenom Jonathan Gray of Aledo. Gray is a longshot at this point but Brown has TCU in his "top 2" along with Texas A&M, so this is a big weekend for the Frogs recruiting-wise.
X Factor: The heat is going to be the x-factor this week. With an expected heat index of 100 by kickoff look for dehydration and cramps to have a major impact on the outcome of the game with the better conditioned team having a strong competitive advantage. On a side note I think MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson should be chained to the east side bleachers for every TCU day game in September. Then maybe after he feels like the bachelor at the end of "The Hangover" he will see the error in his scheduling and start giving TCU evening kickoff times in September.
When Baylor has the ball: Obviously this all comes down to Baylor's extremely fleet-footed quarterback, Robert Griffin III. TCU has never seen a quarterback like him before with the closest comparison being Utah's Brian Johnson, and Brian Johnson looks like he has a club foot when compared to RG3. Keeping RG3 in the pocket and forcing him to beat you with his arm is going to be TCU's best bet. Sure he will complete some deep balls but he is erratic at times so the more throws you force RG3 to make the more drives will stall out on 3rd down.
When TCU has the ball: RUN. THE. BALL. TCU has a big advantage at the line of scrimmage over the Baylor front 7, and as long as Marcus Cannon and company can exploit that TCU should be able to run all day on the Bears. Running the ball at will coupled with the crippling heat should wear down the Baylor defense early and then Andy Dalton can impose his will and make it rain.
What I think will happen: TCU is going to have alot more trouble with Baylor than the vegas point spread of 22 indicates. The defense is going to have their work cut out for them chasing Griffin around all day so the more the offense can keep the ball out of his hands the better. I look for TCU to get off to a slow start but to roll in the second half. 31-20 TCU.